Premiering last spring, AMC’s “The Killing” is an adaptation of a Danish serial crime drama of the same name and explores the Seattle, Wash. murder of 17-year-old Rosie Larsen.
The 45-minute episodes follow three interwoven storylines: the police investigation, the murder’s effect on the Larsen family and the inner workings of a political campaign whose mayoral candidate becomes increasingly connected to Rosie’s death. The masterfully crafted storylines transition seamlessly and make “The Killing” distinct from the procedural crime dramas to which we’ve become accustomed, using rainy Seattle as a fitting backdrop for the darkness of the show’s themes.
The first-season focus on one specific murder paired with the slow-building intensity of the action allows the writers and actors to truly explore the depths of the show’s principal characters. Sarah Linden, a job-obsessed homicide detective played by a stoic Mireille Enos, is newly partnered with Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), an ex-narcotics cop with a dark past. As the detectives peel back the layers of the mystery of Rosie’s murder, viewers are simultaneously exposed to the secrets of the other characters through the plotline’s fluctuations.
The action progresses unhurriedly, but the story is gripping and the characters complex. Season one’s finale leaves the question of Rosie’s killer unanswered but implies a new suspect, generating several fresh uncertainties.
Season two of “The Killing” kicked off on Sunday April 1 with a two-hour premiere, and is definitely worth checking out for lovers of shows like “Law & Order” and “Criminal Minds.” Season one is available on Netflix.